First Amendment Clinic
Students work as a team in conducting legal research, meeting with clients and co-counsel, and drafting legal memoranda and briefs. Assignments involve both appellate-level and trial-level litigation in both state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Clinic students have represented journalists and members of the public in a variety of First Amendment matters, including defamation, court unsealing and public records cases. Last year, for instance, the clinic filed suit on behalf of UVA Law librarian Jon Ashley in support of his project to compile a database of non- and deferred-prosecution agreements made between the Department of Justice and various corporate defendants, leading to the release of relevant records. Students also successfully represented Forbes Media in an effort to unseal court records relating to the government’s use of the All Writs Act to compel private entities to assist in the tracking of suspects.
Students also advise and train local journalists on issues involving Virginia FOIA and open meetings law. And, the clinic has recently entered into a partnership with the Virginia Press Association to support journalists in Virginia to help them navigate state transparency laws and promote public oversight of local and state governments.
In the News
News About the First Amendment Clinic
- 11.16.21 First Amendment Clinic Sues DOJ Again for Non-Prosecution Agreements — and the Master List
- 7.1.19 First Amendment Clinic Returns
- 3.15.17 A Fake Constitutional Showdown: 'Docs v. Glocks' Among Cases Law Students Weigh in On
- 6.4.15 First Amendment Clinic Obtains 18 More of DOJ's Secret Deals with Corporate Offenders
- 11.19.14 UVA Law Clinic Brings 'True Threats' Facebook Case to Supreme Court
- 4.8.14 Your Homework Assignment: Sue the Federal Government (The New York Times)
- 3.10.14 UVA Law Clinic Suit Prompts Justice Department to Release Non-prosecution Agreement
- 12.5.13 UVA Law Clinic Sues Justice Department to Make Document Public
- 12.10.12 UVA Clinic Argues Before Federal Appeals Court to Release Information Relating to Financial Meltdown
- 4.18.12 Judge Grants UVA Law School Clinic's Motion to Release AIG Corporate Monitor Reports
- 8.22.11 Wheeler '92 Discusses New Role as Director of First Amendment Center